Archive for April, 2020


Bertie Wooster, as you know,
Is not really a true Lothario.
Sure, he’s admired a girl or two,
As lively young Drones are apt to do.

There was Bobby, of the fiery tresses,

Who got Bertram into tangled messes.

And haughty Lady Florence Craye,

A lovely profile, seen sideway.

Pauline Stoker gave him quite a scare,
Lolling about in his gents’ sleepwear.
Honoria Glossop was a strong maybe,
‘Til her father gave the nolle prosequi.

The menace of Madeleine Bassett was there,
Like Damocles’ Sword, hung above Bertie’s hair.
Only Gussie Fink-Nottle, her prospective mate,
Stood between Bertram and a most hideous fate.

An English gentleman’s honour code,
Pointed Bertie down the matrimonial road.
Only an iron hand in a velvet glove,
Could loose the tightening fetters of love.

Fresh off a fish-containing snack,
Head visibly bulging at the back,
Jeeves glides in and finds a way,
To free…

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The placid streets of the village of Market Blandings were adorned on this June afternoon by a jaunty figure in a pale grey suit and matching derby hat and by his companion, somewhat less well-attired, in patched tweed and a battered straw boater.

The natty dresser dabbed his brow with a silk handkerchief, for the day was warm. Beach, the butler who had driven them down from Blandings Castle, had opted to remain at the Emsworth Arms for a cool one, while Galahad, for it was he, and his brother Clarence, the ninth Earl of Emsworth, strolled off to the tobacconist.

“I had a letter from young Ronnie the other day,” said Gally.

“Ah, yes, Ronnie. Yes, indeed. Ronnie who? “ asked Lord Emsworth courteously.

“Your nephew Ronnie. Ronald Overbury Fish. You know, Clarence- Julia’s boy— pink face, married Sue Brown, prettiest girl in three counties.”

“Ah yes, Ronnie, of course Ronnie. And how is he?”

“Very well. In fact, from hints he dropped, I fancy there may be a little Sue or Ronnie on the way.”

“The way here?” Clarence asked in alarm. “The summer has so far been remarkably quiet and free of pests, er guests.”

“No, no, a little bundle, to be brought by the stork in a number of months, you know… never mind, Clarence. The point is, he may need some extra income and wants to buy out his partners in the onion soup bar.”

“Ah, just so, good for him. Good for him.”

“In order to become sole proprietor of the onion soup bar he naturally needs some capital,” said Galahad, “and as you surely are aware, it would be a good investment, Clarence. Late night revelers and after-theatre crowds are always clamouring for onion soup, and young Ronnie has turned out, unlikely as it may seem, to be a canny businessman. Of course with Sue by his side, the world’s his oyster, or rather his onion, I might say. The world’s his onion,” he repeated, rather louder. “Ha, ha. Anyway, shall I tell him you are good for the money?”

Gally was glad to see that Lord Emsworth was fingering his chin and wrinkling the brow in concentration. It was not always easy to capture his full attention.

“Onions. Yes, hmm. Onions. Do you know, Galahad,” he said, swimming up suddenly from his brown study, “My veterinarian Banks has been advising me, and very strongly, I might add, against feeding the Empress onions. Onions of any sort, mark you. And yet, Whiffle, in The Care of the Pig, most clearly states that onions are not at all detrimental to pigs, if lightly boiled first. Lightly boiling them appears to remove any toxicity whatsoever!” He brooded a moment. “Banks is an ass. I shall take a strong line with him in this matter.”

“My sainted aunt, Clarence! You haven’t heard a word I’ve said.” Gally removed his pince nez and used them to rap Clarence sharply on the head. “Now listen, and forget about that blasted pig for a moment! Who is more important, your nephew Ronald or the Empress?”

Lord Emsworth regarded him with surprise. “The Empress, of course.”


“Well, really Galahad, I have…several nephews. Quite a few, I fancy. But there is only one Empress.”

“And I yield to no one in my appreciation of her many admirable qualities,” said Galahad, “but she is, after all is said and done, just a pig.”

Lord Emsworth started so violently that his glasses fell from his nose to dangle freely from their chain. “Just a pig! The Empress is a thoroughbred, an aristocrat, dash it, descended on both maternal and paternal side from prize-winning porcine pedigrees. She has three times won the silver medal in the fat pigs class at the Shropshire agricultural show and there is no reason why she may not win a fourth, no matter what drivel that fellow Banks says about onions in her diet. She is certainly not just any pig.”

“A pig is, in the end, a pig, Clarence. Yes, she is a good pig, a large pig, but a pig by any other name would smell as sweet.” Galahad paused. “Well perhaps not quite that, but I’m sure there are plenty of other pigs that, if fed properly for awhile, could match her girth and magnificence.”

“I beg to differ, Galahad, Lord Emsworth said stiffly, “I beg to differ indeed. Few other pigs match her lineage, precious few, if any.”

“All right. How about this? If I can take a pig, a common local young pig from the village here or its environs, and, given six weeks to feed it up, nurture it, and make it a match for the Empress in girth, you will cut Ronnie a sizeable cheque.”

“Certainly. I agree to your proposal. There is surely no chance of you doing it, none at all, but I give you leave to try. If you manage to turn a plebian local animal into something resembling my prize pig (and I scoff at the idea), I will not only give Ronald the money, but I will… I will eat my hat!” he finished hotly.

“That I will not require, Clarence. But after we obtain our tobacco, let us go to a nearby farm with the purpose of purchasing a pig.”


Five and one half weeks later, the Honourable Galahad Threepwood and the Castle’s butler, Beach, stood gazing morosely at a pig rooting contentedly in a ramshackle pen behind the abandoned garden shed. More precisely, Gally was gazing morosely— he would have described Beach as wearing his customary demeanour, that of a stuffed frog.

“No use sugar-coating it, Beach,” he said, screwing his black-rimmed monocle more firmly into his eye. “This pig, though certainly day after day, in every way, it’s been getting fatter and fatter, is nowhere near in the Empress’s class.”

“I have not neglected a single feeding, sir,” said Beach. “Despite it having added considerably to my regular duties, I have carried comestibles amounting to approximately 57,800 daily calories in starches, proteins and additional roughage to the animal. As far as I can tell, it has consumed them all.”

“I don’t doubt it, Beach. I don’t doubt it. Be that as it may, this porker is never going to win Ronnie the money for his onion soup bar. What is worse, Clarence will be able to crow over me for making that silly bet. “

The butler nodded mournfully. He was fond of Mr. Ronald Fish, and his wife Sue Brown had made a strong impression on his susceptible heart.

“Too bad, too bad, sir. Poor Mr. Ronald. He will be disappointed, I fear. Perhaps he can acquire the money from some other source.” Beach stood a moment in a grave silence. “Ah, well. I must return to the house, sir. Tea will be served on the terrace in approximately twenty minutes, if you require sustenance.”

“Damn the terrace, and damn tea!” Beach turned back as Galahad, removing his hat and slapping it on the railing of the pen, burst into impassioned speech. “I won’t accept defeat this easily. Did my ancestors at Agincourt, when faced with a few bloodthirsty foes, turn and go home for tea? Pshaw! Besides, you know I never touch tea, not after what happened to my old pal Buffy Struggles. Gave up cocktails for the foul stuff after attending a temperance lecture and the poor fellow was dead within a week!”

“Dear me!”

“Absolutely. Run over by a hansom cab in Piccadilly Circus. No,” he mused, “what we are going to do-“

“We, sir?” the butler quavered.

“Most certainly we. I shall need you for this next phase of the plan, or Plan B, as it were. Now, I have heard that Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe down the road at Matchingham Hall is boarding a prize pig in the hopes of mating his own pig, Pride of Matchingham, to it. Clarence has never seen that sow, so we, or more accurately you, will sneak over in the dead of night and borrow it. We will then present it to Clarence in the place of this pig, and he will have to admit that we have won the bet. You can leave old Parsloe this smaller sow for a couple of days, just to confuse him.”

Beach was trembling all over like a jelly in a brisk wind. “But sir…”

“But me no buts, butler! Would you want to be the one to dash that young Fish’s hopes and dreams? Or cause Sue’s starry blue eyes to fill bravely but despairingly with unshed tears? Surely the Beach I have known practically from a lad would not be the man to allow fear of a simple pig-swap to dash the food from the mouth of Sue and Ronnie’s first-born, or soon-to-be born, child?”

“Mrs. Ronald is expecting, Mr. Galahad?” Beach drew a deep breath and a look of noble sacrifice passed over his large face, causing his chins to quiver. “Tell me what I need to do, sir.”


“I would never have credited it, Galahad. It seems a miracle, but you have done it!” Lord Emsworth shook his head wonderingly two days later. You have taken a common farmyard sow, even perhaps a somewhat scrawny sow, and transformed her into a magnificent creature. I do not say she is the equal of the Empress, but you have certainly won your point.”

He took another turn around the large, placid animal that a rather pale and haunted-eyed Beach had led by a rope out into the stable-yard.

“Yes, she is a very fine animal indeed. I will be happy to add her to the Castle’s livestock. She will not by any means do us shame.”

“Er, as to that, Clarence,” Galahad said hastily, “I have promised her back to the farmer from whom we bought her. It seems her litter-mates in his pig-sty have been missing her. Pining away in fact, and refusing their food.”

“Egad, that is most worrisome, Galahad.” The Earl of Emsworth took one last covetous look at the sow. “Pigs will not thrive if they do not ingest their regular daily nutrients. Wolff-Lehmann is very clear on that in his book on the subject. Perhaps you’d better bring her back to the farm after all.”

“And that cheque for Ronald? Your nephew Ronald, that is, for his onion soup business.”

“Ah yes.” A slight shadow crossed Lord Emsworth’s face. “Exactly how much was he needing, Galahad?”

Galahad told him and the ninth earl winced.

“But look at the bright side, Clarence. Ronnie will be so busy with the increased responsibilities of his business and his growing family that he will have no time at all to make pleasure trips down to Blandings. And as our sister Julia will soon be presented with a grandchild in London, she will surely remain in the metropolis as well.”

“Er, for quite some time, do you think, Galahad?”

“Indefinitely, I’m sure.”

“Ah, well, that’s… too bad, of course, and all that. However, the pressures of business and family, yes, certainly. Let them know we quite understand if they stay away…, er, quite some time. Er… indefinitely, as you say.”

With the look of one who sees the sun coming out from behind the clouds, Lord Emsworth turned towards the house. “Come see me in the library in ten minutes, Galahad. I will be writing that cheque.”


(Permission to post this piece here is gratefully acknowledged.)

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(On the 1st of January, 2017, Mr K V Rao, Resident Director – ASEAN, Tata Sons Pvt Ltd. Chairman & Board Member, Tata Group Regional Subsidiaries – ASEAN, had posted this thought-provoking article on LinkedIn. His permission to blog it here is gratefully acknowledged!) 


31st Dec 2016, the last day of the year, and the New Year makes one more reflective. I step into my 37th year of corporate “experience” – which often is questionable, whether it is an asset or liability! One of my bosses in my early years hanged a quote : “Experience is what you get, when you don’t get what you want”. The cryptic one liner holds much meaning – it is all about what one “learns” from daily experiences, the day you stop learning slowly that experience looses its it shine and fades into becoming a liability, and once you cant keep pace with the changes you become anachronistic. While its now time for me to research on the latest mobile app, learn about the features of an iPhone 7, or about the SSD hard disk, i-Cloud storage and what have you on all embracing technology to keep myself in step with the 20 somethings in my office, experience has indeed taught me much more.

Everything about modern management, over the years has tended to bring about is an acute left- brain centricity – rationality, data crunching, analysis, and a compulsive need to ‘prove everything’ and so on, while inversely making huge efforts to be innovative, creative, and break away from the strong holds of purely rational thinking. As these apparently opposing forces of the left and right brains jostle with each other, for space – there is this whole effort and premium placed on the right “leadership”. From experience in the practice of leading, it is not so much about how much you know or how smart you are, but all about how you impact others – inspire them to achieve their highest, and have a perception beyond the ordinary. It is more to do with what you are made of, and living that authentic person.

To me, it is simple. Instead of only using the lone brainpower, lets look at our own gift of the 5 Senses that nature has bestowed upon us. My experience has taught me that we use little of these magnificent senses that have immense power upon others and us. We seem to use little of our wonderful 5S in our daily practice of leadership. Here you go.

S1 – Sight: The greatest gift we have from nature is the ability to simply “see”. In our work life, for a leader “seeing” is the power of observation, of concentration, and ability see-through the things others are not obviously in a position to see. It needs practice, peace, concentration and training to constantly “look for” say – the beyond i.e. a vision, a future, a pathway that you are able to see, also the trained ability to see through darkness, when the team is say lost, and through the moving shadows when clarity is absent. In today’s corporate world, the ability to see what others don’t is a singular leadership trait. Train it, you will have it – but one has to silence one’s overactive rational mind that finds only the familiar paths, looses the forest for the woods. The subtle next step on seeing is the ability of the “inner eye” – the ability to visualize, the ability to build a powerful and vivid vision! It is not just words but being able to see the vision in its manifested forms and colours, but to also to share and inspire others its power.

S2 – Touch: The gift of touch is magnificent. Imagine how life will be for us if we did not have that powerful gift. Touch in our organizational context has a vital role – it denotes: caring, intimacy, bonding, emotional connect, and vital in building and leading a team, for we as leaders primarily touch the lives of all our teammates, our partners, our customers. A well-trained expression of the feeling of “touch” enhances a leader’s ability to identify more touch points, and be sensitive. It makes one a natural leader. In short, it is the conscious practice of empathy. These touch points are not just with employees, these are with stakeholders, customers, just about everybody the leaders comes in contact with.

S3 – Taste: Beyond being a foodie, the importance of Taste in our senses is almost unique. The imprint of the experience of Taste is almost unexplainable in words. It is a complete experience that’s unique. When you live whole heartedly, (just as you eat whole heartedly and are a foodie like me), the experience is very “memorable”. The power of the experience of Taste in leadership is that unexplainable feeling – the pain, joy, delight, despair, disconnect, elation, contentment etc. … That one goes through a leader when you “taste the success” or “taste the failure”, or “taste the dejection”. Training one’s own taste of the experience leaves behind rich learning and deep insights. Memories have a bearing on your leadership style.

S4 – Hear : Often, leaders speak more than they listen. The power of hearing (listening!) is multidimensional. It is about extending a listening ear, for a human issue, system issue or an idea or a problem. Intent listening with a trained ear is an asset. It is not only the verbal hearing – it is also about perceiving the sounds, which others have not yet picked up. Recognizing low decibel sounds as it were, from the team, from the market, the environment i.e. picking up early signals, and early warnings – a trait which is so very important for an adept leader. This has little to do with rationality. I have had the pleasure of working with what I call 200% attentive leaders. They would pick up so much more in a meeting, than the normal managers, for they are so very attentive and perceptive.

S5- Nose (smell): The nose, like the powerful experience of taste, has a huge impact on memorability. Often a smells reminds you of your past, your college room or a person or whatever. Smells leave a permanent stamp on our olfactory memory, and trigger associated past experiences – pleasant or painful. In our corporate world – it is very important for leaders to spot opportunities. It is often said, “he has a nose for new opportunities and consumer trends”… it is a delicate and refined quality of using one’s nose, to identify the areas of growth. Part perception, part instinct. Many great ideas have come to fruition for someone “smelt them” before you, or did something that you too smelt and then regret you did not do anything about it!

Now that you are sensitized to your wonderful gift of senses, and harness them in your daily leadership practice, you obviously need to put back the  “thinking cap” of your rational mind with both the hemispheres – right & left – snuggly for you to become an exceptional leader.

Often, I am asked how can one be more “intuitive” – which is fast becoming a buzzword too. My short answer, in my own experience, is that one needs to take a pause from the overworked rational self, hone one’s senses, and often it acts to gently nudge some inner workings within all of us, thus giving rise to “intuition”. Often the first signs of intuition dawning on one can easily be confused as irrational and daydreaming. Pause, and think – it might be the Eureka moment. It may be the first experience of the “Sixth Sense”. Indulge in it and it gets cultivated. Intuition starts finding a home and a friend in you.

When you look at the millennials, the bright kids who will lead this world for the next few decades, they are wired very differently. High on adrenaline, voracious technology adopters, impatient, connected and high on social media, and having grown up on a staple diet of almost constant instant gratification, and their parents (us!) who have provided for them – best education, best upbringing, best environments and the best this and the best that. They seem to have it all, but seem woefully deficient in facing adversity, prone to depressions, inability to deal with the “real others”, build deep lifetime bonds, to remain focused and bull-headedly persistent. Not knowing how to build trust, empathy, and authenticity. Lonely, unsure, and short fused at times. In short, high on energy – fast, furious, and determinate – yet missing out on the use of a 5S leadership or even a 5S lifestyle.

In many ways our generation, has had its role to play in the shaping of the new millennial. As parents, we have given the our “bests” to our next generation, to perhaps unwittingly further a race of “patrimonial capitalism”, as Thomas Piketty, the French economist who is churning new thinking, argues. A privileged few, who go on to create still more privileged few, widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots, and making the entire dispensation less “sensitive” to people.

In our need for speed and urgency in everything, we make use less of ourselves and our full potential that remains unutilized within each one of us. While we are highly digitally distracted and as we furiously run back to clear all our mails, greetings, and meetings calendar for the New Year, it’s time for us to take a long pause and a deep breadth – and to look around, with a fine eye. There is so much comedy around us. Smile. Slow down. “Patience” has a new premium over speed.

Increasingly, organizations and life in general are moving on to a pace that makes them senseless. How do we become sensible leaders in a senseless or low sense, or non sense (pun intended) environment? Live life in its fullness and lead life with all the 5 Senses, and feel and share the difference.

Wish you a wonderful 2017 – reflective, intuitive and harnessing the power of 5 -Senses Leadership, and also help yourself to loosen up and have a great laugh, every day of 2017.


KV Rao


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An Anonymous Doctor

Yet another medical practitioner who wishes to remain anonymous specializes in the realm of diet and nutrition. Like all good doctors, he advises those who have been disappointed in love to eat frugally. Fail to do this, and the result is as inevitable as the climax of a Greek tragedy. No man, however gifted his gastric juices, can go on indefinitely brooding over a lost love and sailing into the starchy foods simultaneously. If so, indigestion grips him soon enough, making him consult a physician like the one alluded to here.

His solutions to cure a soul in torment may sound drastic, but are invariably effective. He is apt to put one on a diet comprising nothing else but the juice of an orange.

He may advise the patient thus: ‘Precisely. Take your orange. Divide it into two equal parts. Squeeze on a squeezer. Pour into a glass … or cup,’ he added, for he was not the man to be finicky about small details, ‘and drink.’

(The Juice Of An Orange; Blandings Castle… and elsewhere)

Laura Pyke

When it comes to maintaining your digestive system in the pink of its health, yet another dietary expert, Laura Pyke, could assist you. Some may consider her to be a food crank but she is a professional who thinks most of us not only eat too much but also too quickly. She recommends a diet comprising only parsnips and other greens. Alcohol, she maintains, corrodes the stomach tissues.

She is apt to gaze at you like a high priestess imparting instructions to her favourite, though erring, disciple, while describing the manner in which you are ruining the lining of your stomach when you keep eating stuff lacking in fat-soluble vitamins. She would speak freely of proteins, carbohydrates, and the physiological requirements of the average individual.

When you shift to any of her diet plans, your immunity levels are bound to go up, thereby reducing the probability of getting afflicted with viruses of any kind.

It is always wiser to consult her either online or by physically popping up at her clinic, if you have the permission of the concerned authorities. Inviting her to your home, even if she happens to be an old school chum of your spouse, is best avoided.

(Jeeves and the Old School Chum; Very Good, Jeeves)



Wilfred Mulliner, a brother of Mr Mulliner, is a chemist and is the inventor of various creams, lotions, and tonics, known in the trade as Mulliner’s Magic Marvels.

Many of you may recall the following creams, lotions, and tonics invented by Wilfred Mulliner which are specifically mentioned in various narratives dished out by P G Wodehouse.

  1. Mulliner’s Raven Gypsy Face Cream.
  2. Snow of the Mountains Lotion
  3. Mulliner’s Buck-U-Uppo
  4. Mulliner’s Reduc-o, the recognized specific for obesity. Available in the form of tablets (3d the tin) or liquid (5s6p a flask).
  5. Mulliner’s Ease-o, cures the most stubborn case of lumbago in six days.

Of these, Buck-u-Uppo is a tonic invented ‘primarily with the object of providing Indian Rajahs with a specific (concoction) which would encourage their elephants to face a tiger of the jungle with a jaunty sang-froid.’ It works directly on the corpuscles. The dose for an adult elephant is a teaspoonful mixed with the elephant’s morning mash. If consumed by Home sapiens in glassfuls, it makes them far more confident and assertive, making them succeed in life, whether personally or professionally.

In these times, when work-from-home is the norm, spouses who get persuaded to try a small dose of this concoction may not venture out to paint statues pink. Bishops may refrain from frequenting nightclubs dressed in Sinbad the Sailor costumes.

But long term pending projects at home, such as mowing a lawn, clearing snow off the driveway, garage cleaning, painting a room blue while awaiting the arrival of the stork to deliver the next baby, spending quality time with family members, wearing skirts for a change, tidying up the fridge, doing dishes and mopping the floor, would get attended to with much enthusiasm and aplomb; much to the delight of the party of the other part which had since long given up nagging of the party of the first part on such issues and had instead decided to take a spiritual view of things.

(Buck-U-Uppo features in three Mulliner stories: ‘Mulliner’s Buck-U-Uppo’, ‘The Bishop’s Move’ and ‘Gala Night’.)

Dentists I. J. Zizzbaum, B K Burwash and the like

Merry laughs and gay quips make Doctor I. J. Zizzbaum the life and soul of the party at the annual dentists’ convention. But this does not guarantee his behavior when approached in his white-coat-upholstered professional role.

If his trade rival B K Burwash, who is also in the business of teeth management, has landed a prize catch in the form of a celebrity client like Joey Cooley, the 12-year-old movie star and darling of all American mothers, you could find him to be a gloomy cove, appearing like a dentist with a secret sorrow. This could leave you shuddering even more while seated in his pin-cushioned dentists’ chair.

Dr B K Burwash has a reassuring smile and is rather used to handling celebrity clients who could amount to free advertisement worth about a thousand dollars in the olden days, besides the heavy fee he pockets even otherwise.

Then we have the dentist in Shrewsury who wishes to render his services anonymously.

(Laughing Gas, Leave it to Psmith)


Some of the Veterenians

Dr Smithers is a veterinary surgeon who gets called in to investigate the sudden onset of asceticism upon the Empress of Blandings after her keeper Cyril Wellbeloved goes out of action, so much so that she, a hearty feeder, starts refusing any form of nourishment. Somehow, he is baffled by this sudden change in her dietary habits.

 (Blandings Castle, elsewhere)

Banks is yet another vet who gives a clean bill of health to the Empress even when she refuses to accept a potato offered by Lord Emsworth.

(Pelican at Blandings)


Webber is another vet who gets called in when the Empress ends up gobbling Gally’s memoirs.

(Heavy Weather) 

Lord Emsworth may have a poor opinion of all these gentlemen. However, we learn from reliable sources that they are capable persons who can bring relief and succor to many of the species known to mankind.

Augustus Whiffle

Residents of Plumsville would fondly recall the dietary requirements of the Empress of Blandings, as prescribed by Whiffle, an authority on all matters porcine. According to him, her daily nourishment should not be less than fifty-seven thousand eight hundred calories, these calories consisting of barley meal, maize meal, linseed mail, potatoes and separated buttermilk.

In order to assist vets and pet owners of all kinds, Augustus Whiffle (or Whipple), the well-known author of Lord Emsworth’s favourite book, The Care of the Pig, has been roped in to promptly dish out his advice on handling pets of other species as well, covering dogs, cats, horses, cows, lions and the like. This, it is hoped, will cheer up pet owners and exert a soothing influence on them when they suspect their pets to be suffering physically in any way. Moreover, the communication gap between a white hunter and a lion which has just been shot, as to whether the latter is dead or alive, could become a thing of the past.

An elderly man with a thin, reedy voice, Mr Whipple is a member of the Athenaeum club and is so impressed by what he hears of the Empress of Blandings. Our office has already contacted Lord Emsworth to request his permission to enable his wish to be fulfilled. We hope a gesture of this kind would enthuse Mr Whipple to churn out his advice in respect of other species without much delay.

(Blandings Castle, elsewhere)

It is hoped that the steps taken by us would assist humans as well as members of other species to attain the highest possible level of health. WHO would keep making its unique contribution towards promoting health, keeping the world safe from pandemics and serving the vulnerable, with measurable impact for people at country level. As always, we are individually and collectively committed to put these values into practice.


Illustrations of some of the characters have been dished out by Suvarna Sanyal, a retired (but not at all tired) banker who has a flair for dealing with figures. Illustration of the E of B courtesy the www.


Inputs from the following fans of PGW are gratefully acknowledged:

Abhik Majumdar

Arun Krish

Bommireddipalli RamaKrishna

Devadas Mallya

Mahesh Sankaran

Morten Arnesen

Gopalakrishna Annavarapu

Pradeep Swaminathan

Ryk Westwood

Satish Pande

Sudhakar Ravindranath

Sudheer Tambe

Ted Fontenot


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The World Health Organisation, as the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations system, adheres to the UN values of integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity. It upholds such values as human rights, universality and equity established not only in WHO’s Constitution but also in its ethical standards.

In order to further strengthen the team of medical as well as paramedical professionals associated with us, we are hereby pleased to announce the immediate empanelment of the following experts drawn from Plumsville.

Sir Roderick Glossop

The high-priced loony doctor, with a bald head resembling the dome of St. Paul’s cathedral and two ferocious eyebrows which give his eyes a piercing look, has a pleasant baritone voice. He is expected to counsel all those who happen to be in quarantine to make creative use of their time while curbing their tendency to indulge in gambling, getting otherwise sloshed by liberal doses of their favourite tissue restoratives and consuming tobacco in any form whatsoever. He would advise all and sundry to refrain from drinking coffee as he feels that it is the root cause for half the nervous troubles of the world. He has already issued a forceful appeal to governments all over the world to ban the item at least during the time humanity is fighting the dreaded Corona virus.

Given his serious-mindedness in all matters professional, he could be often found surreptitiously observing people under stress in the garb of a butler. Those who have already fixed an appointment with him are best advised not to carry any musical instruments with themselves. Nor does he tolerate pets of any kind, specifically cats.

(Thank You, Jeeves; Very Good, Jeeves; elsewhere)

Sir Hugo Drake

He is yet another famous nerve specialist, assisting those suffering from acute stress generated by country-wide lockdowns which are the norm these days. He is said to be tall but stout.

His passion for the game of golf is well known. He has a deep respect for transatlantic golf. He is never a man who pays much attention to women’s looks. What matters to him is the professional merit of the party of the other part, whether medical or otherwise. He also dishes out books which are found wonderful by such general practitioners as Doctor Sally Smith.

(Doctor Sally)

Doctor Sally Smith

She is a general practitioner from USA. While handling medical emergencies, she is always calm, empathic and fair. She places a premium on understanding the psychology of the patient.

She detests the fact that the male mind does not appear to be able to grasp immediately the fact that a woman doctor need not of necessity be a gargoyle with steel-rimmed spectacles and a wash-leather complexion.

She is averse to getting proposed to by potential suitors while being on duty. She takes a dim view of men who have simply inherited their wealth, preferring instead those who work hard for eking out a living.

(Doctor Sally)

Doctor E. Jimpson Murgatroyd

Your first sight of this capable doctor may not put you at ease. He happens to be a gloomy old buster. He has sad, brooding eyes and long whiskers, and his resemblance to a frog which has been looking on the dark side since it was a slip of a tadpole is apt to send your spirits right down into the basement. He has bushy eyebrows which accentuate the effect of his sounding like a minor prophet about to rebuke the sins of the people. He has this habit of scratching his nose with his stethoscope at frequent intervals.

However, his check ups are thorough. He would weigh you first. He would then proceed to check your blood pressure and pulse. Thereafter, he would tap you all over like a whiskered woodpecker.

His diagnosis is invariably accurate, especially when it comes to red spots popping up in any region of your physical body. His advice to you could be frank and honest but brutal, barring you from such stimulants as alcohol and tobacco. Your irregular hours may get criticized. Your not getting enough exercise may get commented upon. Once the lock down gets relaxed, you may be advised to give up your unwholesome metropolitan life, move to the country, breathe fresh air, go to bed early and also to get plenty of exercise.

(Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen)

The Anonymous Speech Therapist

Those who have fallen in love and are unable to articulate their tender feelings to the party of the other part due to their terrible stammer and overcome their shyness in these virus-ridden times may consider consulting the specialist on Harley Street. He is a kindly man with moth-eaten whiskers and an eye like a meditative cod-fish. He may benevolently advise you to speak to three complete strangers a day.

‘Many people,’ he may explain, ‘who are unable to articulate clearly in ordinary speech find themselves lucid and bell-like when they burst into song….stammering,’ he may add, ‘is mainly mental and is caused by shyness, which is caused by the inferiority complex, which in its turn is caused by suppressed desires or introverted inhibitions or something. The advice I give to all young men who come in here behaving like soda-water siphons is to go out and make a point of speaking to at least three perfect strangers every day. Engage these strangers in conversation, persevering no matter how priceless a chump you may feel, and before many weeks are out you will find that the little daily dose has had its effect. Shyness will wear off, and with it the stammer.’

(The Truth About George; Meet Mr Mulliner)

Doctor Hailsham

Many of you may have a tendency to overeat when stressed out due to prolonged confinement in isolation wards or when quarantined at home. You may have recently put on extra layers of fat on your persona. Comely girl-friends who have a marked distaste for bulging eyes, triple chins and a pear-shaped body may already be registering protest, threatening to put you in cold store and redirecting their affections elsewhere. The cane chairs you normally sit upon might already be creaking and complaining about the harsh treatment being received at your hands.

If so, you may choose to spend some time at the place run by Doctor Hailsham. By way of tissue restoratives, it offers parsnip juice, followed by either stewed lettuce or an orange. On special days, you could be lucky enough to find some exotic items to be put down your hatch, like potassium broth and grated carrots, followed by a refreshing cup of dandelion coffee. You can also go in for seaweed soup, if you prefer.

Doctor Hailsham guarantees to take a pound a day off you, if you follow his regimen faithfully. He also cautions you to make proper arrangements for your travel to his camp, perhaps hiding in a cargo van ferrying fresh fruits and vegetables.

(The Fat of the Land; A Few Quick Ones)

Dr Ambrose Gussett

If you are twiddling your thumbs trying to figure out how to have your rival-in-love returned to store, leaving the field clear for you and your beloved, Doctor Ambrose Gussett would be the right person to consult. He happens to be a thorough professional and a person with deep reserves of tact and resource.

He is a well-liked young doctor, and a golfer with a handicap of two. Some of you may recall that he had once fallen in love with Evangeline Tewkesbury, who had come to the community visiting her aunt. The Oldest Member had then entertained doubts if Ambrose should consider proposing to Evangeline, since she played tennis and not golf, but Ambrose felt that he loved her anyway.

When his tormentor and rival-in-love, Dwight, had fallen sick after an overdose of alcoholic stimulants, Ambrose had lost no time and had acted like a true medico. Dwight had then also got annoyed by a parrot which had been delivered to his house, though he did not remember having ordered one. Ambrose had advised him to rest.

At Evangeline’s place, her aunt had told Ambrose that the former was upset, because nobody had remembered her birthday, though Dwight had promised to buy a parrot for her. Convincing Dwight to let go of the parrot, gifting it to her lady love and then proposing to her had come easy to him. She was hesitant but had eventually agreed.

This is the kind of professional attitude, tact and resource medicos need to handle the multitude of patients afflicted by the dreaded virus these days.

(Up From the Depths; Nothing Serious)

Doctor George Mulliner

He is a caring and compassionate doctor whose brow is often furrowed worrying about the likes of Nurse Wilks, an old nanny of the family. Senior citizens of all hues, sizes and shapes are hereby advised to turn to him for palliative and geriatric care.

The fact that he asks his brother, Frederick, to visit their 85-year old Nurse Wilks, despite knowing that she is as autocratic now as she was during their childhood when she used to shut them up in cupboards for stealing jam, goes on to establish his credentials even in the field of community medicine. Since her heart is weak, Frederick is advised to do whatever she wants him to, including partaking boiled eggs and taking off his shoes; in short, getting treated by her as a school going kid.

Eventual reward for Frederick is a happy reunion with the object of his affections.

(The Portrait of a Disciplinarian; Meet Mr Mulliner)



Illustration courtesy Suvarna Sanyal, a retired (but not at all tired) banker who has a flair for dealing with and drawing up figures.

Inputs from the following fans of PGW are gratefully acknowledged:

Abhik Majumdar

Arun Krish

Bommireddipalli RamaKrishna

Devadas Mallya

Mahesh Sankaran

Morten Arnesen

Gopalakrishna Annavarapu

Pradeep Swaminathan

Ryk Westwood

Satish Pande

Sudhakar Ravindranath

Sudheer Tambe

Ted Fontenot


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